During Ramadan the loss of daytime business can have a huge impact on revenue and affect an operation’s bottom line, says Glee Hospitality Solutions managing director Abdul Kader Saadi. It is of course quieter during the day, however, for most food and beverage outlets, we can increase volume during Iftar and Suhour time.
For some outlets, halting service can be beneficial. Whilst business may decrease, limiting or halting service during the day does see costings balance out to an extent. Halting service means you are saving on electricity, gas and labour costs. However for independent outlets, Ramadan holds various other challenges. Restaurant owners must create Iftar and Suhour menus that include elements of Arabic and rich flavours to cater to their target audience.
Here are some tips that can help a hospitality business survive and prosper during Ramadan.
The early bird catches the worm
For the food and beverage world it is crucial to be start preparing around three months in advance of Ramadan starting. Restauranters must communicate their Ramadan plans with suppliers very early on as they are also fasting and working reduced hours. Getting stock in hand and confirmed in advance is vital for smooth operations during Ramadan. All marketing and communications materials must also be prepared well in advance – allowing a healthy lead time to promote your Ramadan offering far and wide. As soon as a plan for the season is confirmed, it is vital to send details of any Ramadan offerings to key corporate and business contacts
Play it safe or experiment?
Several outlets now offer traditional buffets with masses of choice featuring fresh ingredients and an array of cuisines as well as brilliant entertainment so there is a lot of pressure on managers to ensure their offering stands out from the crowd. A big part of deciding what an outlet’s Ramadan offering should comprise depends on the demographic it is targeting. Although it is important to introduce new and relevant menus, it is also vital that an outlet stays true to its identity even whilst adapting to fit with Ramadan requirements. Always play to your strengths and don’t try to be ‘everything’ to ‘everyone’. Look at your current menu and the most popular options and give them a twist.
The restrictions and different requirements during Ramadan mean significant changes. When it comes to suppliers, bar orders certainly take a big hit, with opening hours limited and many operations closing for the duration. Another issue that outlets must adapt to is food wastage. A standard element of buffets, which are the most common for of food and beverage during Ramadan
Ramadan is a key month for socialising amongst the Muslim community. Family and friends meet for Iftars and are invited to each other’s homes. If an outlet can adapt a dessert offering to make it suitable for take away and offer gift packaging, it can be a hit. People are constantly looking for new gift ideas for gatherings
Utilise this quieter period and promote staff vacations during the month of Ramadan since the working hours are shorter and can be managed by single shift staff. Ensure the outlet is licensed for deliveries during fasting hours and is open for delivery and takeaway.
Source: Hotelier Middle East